OpIndia Evening Dispatch: Monday, 4th February, 2019

A quick round-up of people and events that made news today.

In the hustle and bustle of the day, it is only natural to miss some of the biggest developments that impact the nation. The OpIndia Evening Dispatch will catch you up on the day’s event even if you have been busy thus far.

1. Yamuna Expressway Scam: CBI officer, UP revenue official arrested Rs 126 crore scam

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered case against two of its own officials and some officials of the Uttar Pradesh Police in Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority land scam case. The officials against whom the case has been registered are Inspector CBI V S Rathore, ACB Ghaziabad, ASI Sunil Dutt, Tehsildar (UP) Ranveer Singh and one other official. Inspector Rathore and tehsildar Ranveer Singh have been arrested by the CBI.

They have been booked for allegedly influencing the probe in the case. A separate case has been registered by the UP police to investigate the case as claimed by the CBI. As per reports, around 10 lakhs were allegedly paid to Inspector CBI V S Rathore and ASI Sunil Dutt by the suspects against whom the investigation was going on.

2. Mamata vs CBI: The CBI moves SC against Kolkata top cop, CJI to hear the matter tomorrow

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In the ongoing showdown in Kolkata, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate in the Saradha Chit Fund case. In its petition, the CBI has said that despite being summoned multiple times, Kumar failed to cooperate and created hurdles in the investigation.

Despite the CBI push to list the case for hearing today, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) said that the hearing will be held tomorrow.

3. Congress stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Mamata whom they once accused of ‘looting’ Bengal

Even as Congress President Rahul Gandhi extended his support to Mamata Banerjee who is currently protesting against a CBI probe in the Saradha Chit Fund scam, Congress seems to have forgotten its own stand on Mamata and the Chit Fund scam from a couple of years back.

Interestingly, Congress President Rahul Gandhi who is now standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Mamata Banerjee seems to have forgotten the fact that it was the UPA government in 2013 which had first registered a case against the Saradha chit fund scam and had accused Mamata Banerjee of ‘looting’ the money from the public.

4. Saradha Chit Fund Case: All you need to know why Mamata Banerjee is trying to scuttle the CBI probe

Kolkata witnessed an unprecedented series of events last night when a team of CBI officials were detained by the state police after they paid the police commissioner a visit to obtain crucial information regarding the Saradha scam.

Senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress have been alleged to be intimately involved in the scam ever since the CBI initiated its investigation. In December 2014, state transport and sports minister, Madan Mitra, was arrested by the central investigative agency in connection with the scam.

Sudipto Sen, CEO and CMD of the Saradha Group, in a confessional letter to the CBI in 2013 made several claims with far-reaching political implications. In the letter, Sen claimed that he had not only paid hefty pay-out amounts to Trinamool leaders but also influential Congress leader in Assam Matang Sinh, and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram’s wife Nalini Chidambaram.

5. This year’s Kumbh saw thousands abjuring lucrative vocations like Engineering, Management to become Naga Sadhus

According to the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the highest body of the country’s akharas (a sect of seers), it is estimated that over 10,000 men and women are taking Deeksha (initiation) and becoming Naga sadhus this Kumbh. Many of whom have degrees in Engineering, Management and other professions from prestigious institutes across the country. The largest of the akharas, Juna Akhara has initiated about 1100 so far and there have been planned a few more mass initiations by them in this month to initiate the enthusiasts into Naga way of life.

6. I tweeted what I had to say: Congress President Rahul Gandhi evades commenting on Mamata’s mayhem

Congress President Rahul Gandhi today evaded commenting on the political drama unfolding at Kolkata as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to dharna protesting against CBI probe in Saradha Chit Fund Scam. “I tweeted what I had to say,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Rahul Gandhi had said that Congress stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Mamata Banerjee, who was busy stopping the CBI from carrying out their duty of investigating the Saradha Chit Fund Scam.

7. UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi vandalised by hoodlums

A video showing vandalism carried out by the hoodlums in Karnataka at the UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi has gone viral. The miscreants can be seen in the video damaging the carved stone pillars in Hampi. The video shows 3 men wrecking the pillars of 14th century Vishnu temple and the subsequent exultation by the trio after the pillars were broken down.

8. Rahul Gandhi is more than PM to us: Karnataka Congress chief on Karnataka crisis

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Working President Eshwar Khandre, displayed new levels of sycophancy towards Congress President Rahul Gandhi by claiming that for Congress workers, Rahul Gandhi is even more than the Prime Minister.

Khandre was referring to the political crisis which is currently underway in Karnataka as the chief minister HD Kumaraswamy as well as his father, HD Deve Gowda have time and again let it known that they are unhappy with the opportunistic alliance of the Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka.

9. What did Sudipta Sen write in his 2013 letter that Mamata Banerjee is so nervous about Saradha scam investigation?

Chaos descended upon Kolkata on the night of 3rd of February, 2019, when a team of CBI officials were detained by the state police when they visited the police commissioner for questioning in the Saradha Chit Fund scam.

It is a good time, then, to revisit the letter that Sudipta Sen, Chairman of the Saradha Group, had written to the CBI in 2013. In the letter, he claimed that he had been cheated by several people and that he was on the verge of committing suicide. He also asserted that the letter should be treated as his dying declaration.

10. Sunanda Pushkar case: Trial against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to begin on 21st February

The Sessions court to begin the trial against senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in the Sunanda Pushkar case on 21st February. Tharoor is charge-sheeted in the case as an accused for abetment to suicide.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal has transferred the case from the Magistrate’s court to the sessions court and the case will be heard on the fast track. However, the court has dismissed the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking to assist the court in the matter. The court also refused to make the Delhi police vigilance report public but it has asked the police to keep it safe for future need.

11. Only 2 women had entered Sabarimala, not 51: Kerala minister in assembly

The Kerala government had earlier submitted in the Supreme Court that 51 women under the age of 50 had entered the Sabarimala Temple, defying the age-old traditions of the Hindu shrine.

The communist government’s claims were soon busted by several citizen groups and media reports as it was revealed that fake names, numbers of male devotees and many other discrepancies had been done to reach the figure of 51.

Now, Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has informed the Kerala Assembly that the state government has confirmation of only two women between the age of 10 and 50 years offering prayers at the Sabarimala Temple.

Opinions:

Common man saves 27% on taxes after implementation of GST under BJP government

GST is a landmark implementation that benefits all stakeholders, the government, Treasury, Common man and Business owners, explains Dhairya Roy.

Citizenship Amendment Bill: A necessity to correct a historical wrong

As we try to save our lands from destruction, we must first try to put our house in order. And therefore, we must recognise the forces from within, which are trying to bring in the necessary disruptions, which can spoil this last exercises for redemption, so as to ensure that our land and culture is perennially annihilated, writes Rudradeb


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